Dutch Masters Dressage World Cup Limits Spectators, Dortmund in Germany Does Not, Wellington Booms With Thousands of Participants, Spectators at Multiple Outdoor Horse Events
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Mar. 10, 2020
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
The Dutch Masters indoors at s’-Hertogenbosch will limit the number of spectators to 1,000 at any one time because of coronavirus concerns as this week it hosts the last of 11 Western European dressage qualifiers for the World Cup Final in Las Vegas a month from now. A CDI5* with 25 combinations from nine nations in Dortmund, Germany at the same time is apparently proceeding as scheduled with no limits on attendance.
The high profile Saut Hermès jumping event in the Grand Palais in Paris that was scheduled for Mar. 20-22 on Tuesday announced cancellation because of a French government ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
At least three horse shows, Global Dressage Festival and two major jumper events as well as a full blown polo circuit, are being staged outdoors in Wellington, Florida with thousands of participants and visitors from around the world.
The Dutch Masters has hosted a dressage World Cup since 1989 and has entries for the show beginning Thursday from reigning champion Isabell Werth and fellow Germans Helen Langehanenberg, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and her brother Benjamin as well as Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain on Mount St. John Freestyle and nine Dutch combinations.
Cancellation of equestrian events during the spread of coronavirus around the world has been relatively limited, though government-imposed limitations on crowd sizes and in the most several hit regions has had an impact.
One of the most publicized cancellations involving horse sports was the International Equestrian Federation’s annual Sports Forum live presentations in Lausanne, Switzerland. It typically attracts well under 300 participants, more than 10% FEI employees resident there.
No horse shows have been canceled in the United States.
The biggest concentration of events is Wellington, Florida of thousands of riders, grooms, owners, veterinarians, horse show employees and visitors from around the world. The events are the Adequan Global Dressage Festival with 150 entries in the Nations Cup and related international competitions and a four-day national show, the accompanying Winter Equestrian Festival of thousands of jumpers and hunters, Deeridge Farms jumping CSI5* and the peak of the international polo circuit.
The World Cup Finals of dressage and jumping in Las Vegas are still on track for mid-April.
Only two presumptive coronavirus cases have been reported in the Las Vegas area, which has a population of about two million and about 800,000 visitors every week.
One case a week ago was of a man who traveled to Texas and Washington state which has experienced one of the largest outbreaks in the country, and the second a woman in her 70s who is isolated in a hospital.
MGM Resorts will close buffets at its seven casinos in Las Vegas–the ARIA, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor and Excalibur beginning next Sunday. The casino group said the changes are temporary and will be evaluated weekly.
The Thomas & Mack arena that will host the World Cup Finals as it did for both disciplines in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2015 is the main indoor sport facility for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and one of the largest such venues in the city.
The facility was opened in 1983 and has the capacity of up to 19,522 for ring events and 18,000 for basketball.
Ticket sales are reported to have been brisk and vendor spaces are virtually all booked.